Bloganuary 20: What is your favourite photo you’ve taken? Photography for the sake of writing

Is this the best photograph I have taken? Absolutely not. But it is certainly one of my favourites.

Not very long time ago, I have taken a course in photography. One of our assignments in that course is nature photography. I have submitted this photograph you see above.

I used to enjoy doing photography. I still do. But I am not really passionated about taking photographs the way I am passionated about writing.

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Bloganuary 19: Write something mysterious | Life in itself is a mystery

As a young boy, I find the moon to be very mysterious. At least when the moon is full, mysterious things are about to happen. I used to be drawn to supernatural stories that comes to life when it is full moon.

Now, I look at the full moon and see a satellite orbiting the earth. I do not see anything mysterious about the moon anymore. Or at least not mysterious within the context a way how a young boy with active imagination would think of it.

When I look at the moon or at a starry sky, I think of how mysterious life is. The chance that we will be alive is so small and yet here we are roaming this earth. That is why, we ought to always celebrate life every second of the day.

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Bloganuary 18: What book is next on your reading list? Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters

Lucinda Riley’s novel series of The Seven Sisters is really starting to intrigue me. I have heard so many people in my circle talking about Riley’s work.

I thought, this is not really the kind of genre I would like to read. And besides, seven books? Gee, that requires a certain degree of commitment.

But J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter has also seven books. I did not only read them all when I was younger, but I really did enjoy them.

I hope I would have the same experience in Lucida Riley’s Seven Sisters. Have you read the book? Did you like it? What did you like about it? Would you recommend reading it?

Bloganuary 17: What is a superpower you’d love to have? The power to travel through time.

This the Vianden Castle, which is located in Vianden, Luxembourg. This castle dates back from the 10th century. I love visiting medieval castles mainly because I am fascinated by anything medieval: the medieval way of life as well the medieval minds.

If it is possible to have a supper power and I would be granted the opportunity to choose one, I will choose the ability to travel through time. I am quite sure that I will enjoy traveling to the past as much as I will enjoy travelling to the future.

Should I have this supper power to bend the linearity of time, my first destination will be medieval Europe and will study their societies, more specifically, medieval England and I will study it’s day to day life. I will then become a time travelling anthropologist.

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Bloganuary 16: What is a cause you’re passionate about and why? It would be animal rights.

If I may be honest, there is no cause that I am passionate about. Do not get me wrong, it is not that I am apathetic about the issues we face as societies, locally or internationally.

I think that there are a lot of issues and problems around the world that needs to our attention. It is just that, I am not very passionated about them. I have more pressing matters on a personal level that needs to be tackled.

I am an old fashioned believer that before we could start cleaning our neighbour’s backyard, we have to begin with our own backyard first. Before I could address the problem of the society, I think I should first address my own personal issues. And dear me, I have a lot on my plate.

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Youtube Video: 7 Ways Marcus Aurelius Will Help You Journal Like A Pro | Ryan Holiday | Stoicism

In this video, Ryan Holiday discusses one of the Stoic practices, namely, journaling. Marcus Aurelius – a Roman Emperor and a Stoic philosopher – had a habit: he kept a journal in which he wrote his meditation.

His writing was not intended for publication. He was writing to himself and for himself. His writing has been passed down to us which is now called The Meditation, but it was originally called to himself.

For someone who enjoys writing so much (including, but not exclusively journaling), this video and the philosophy of Stoicism in general is motivating as it is reassuring. In a way, this blog, is an extension, albeit a filtered version, of my journal.

Bloganuary 15: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning? The key to happiness is being in the moment.

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body and mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

Csikszentmihalyi, 1990

in his work on Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a renowned Hungarian psychologist, suggests that we are most happy when we are so focused in what we do that we are able to attain the state of flow. It pertains to those moments in our lives when we are so immersed in what we are doing for the sake of doing them.

Csikszentmihalyi refers to this as the optimal experience. It is not about the achieving certain goals, but being in the moment. We are in the zone when we are having the optimal experience.

If there is a life lesson I feel everyone can benefit from learning, it is this: challenge yourself by learning new skills, for their own sake. Csikszentmihalyi’s book change the way I see things in my life. I dare say, I am happier.

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Bloganuary 14: Conquering my addiction is the greatest challenge I faced and overcame

We must give up many things to which we are addicted, considering them to be good. Otherwise, courage will vanish, which should continually test itself. Greatness of soul will be lost, which can’t stand out unless it disdains as petty what the mob regards as most desirable.

Seneca, moral letters, 73.12b-13

Challenges are very important aspects in one’s life. Through the challenges we face – whether we overcome them or not – we become stronger and smarter. The greater the challenge, the greater our chance to become better versions of ourselves.

In my life so far, I have already faced many challenges. In some of them I succeeded, in some I failed. But our failures are as much as important as are successes. Both play pivotal roles in our growth as human beings. While failures and set backs initially hurt, they can also motivate us and make us more tenacious.

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Bloganuary 13: What does your ideal day look like?

Managing time is not my strong suit. I can make a good planning, but the execution of it is yet another matter.

But I am getting better at in. In executing my day planning, I mean. Most of the items on my daily schedule have been transformed from routine into rituals.

Bellow you see my time table. Completing them is ideal, but being able to do just half of it is nonetheless no small achievement.

This is how my ideal day look like. At least during the weekdays when I have to work.

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Bloganuary 12: What Emoji(s) do you like to use? A Stoic Emoji.

This is the ‘slightly-smiling emoji’. What ever I feel, this is the emoji I almost always use. I also call this the stoic emoji.

Deep inside, I could be happy or sad, pleased or disappointed, calm or furious, I use this slightly smiling emoji. The intention is not to mask my emotions but to manage them by maintaining a stoic disposition.

The word stoic is being used today to describe someone who have no emotion, that person who have stiff upper lip. In most cases, this description have a negative connotation.

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